Salt Lake police officer says he was 'uncomfortable' with parade assignment

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  • Avenue Vernal, UT
    June 14, 2014 9:42 p.m.


    This officer would have been serving and protecting all if the department would have allowed him to work in security. Is leading the parade the only way this officer could have fulfilled his oath? The officer would have done a much better job doing something he was more comfortable doing, rather than something that made him feel like he was celebrating immorality. All Americans have the constitutional right to a religion, and this right is not revoked when an officer puts a badge on his chest.

  • LiberalJimmy Salt Lake City, UT
    June 14, 2014 5:50 p.m.

    @Avenue...Apparently ignorance is bliss. Police officers swear an oath to "serve and protect" ALL! Not some. Please reference my example of a Catholic police officer with the same concerns regarding The Mormon Pioneer Day Parade as well as the firemen analogy. Anxiously awaiting your response.

  • Avenue Vernal, UT
    June 13, 2014 10:42 p.m.


    "Getting him off the force was reasonable and prudent."

    Getting him off the force was anything but reasonable. He felt uncomfortable with his assignment and asked to change it. All this because of his religious beliefs. When did exercising rights guaranteed by the Constitution become "bigotry"? The "hateful bigots" are those individuals who disregard others personally held religious beliefs and punish them for acting on those beliefs. These decisions made by this officer did not harm anyone, but he was still punished regardless of this.

  • LiberalJimmy Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2014 8:32 p.m.

    @Stormwalker...Amen my friend. Absolutely brilliant post. Can you hear the crickets in SLC all the way from Cleveland?

  • LiberalJimmy Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2014 8:29 p.m.

    @RedShirt...Just out of curiosity what is your "news" source? His job during the parade was to "entertain"? Wow! Absolutely 100% FALSE. This officer was given an assignment/order. You either obey or resign. There is no gray area in this matter. In closing, I noticed you did not mention the firemen example. How about that part of my original post? Is this what you desire? "Sorry Sir/Mam we obviously do not agree politically so I guess you will have to search out a conservative firemen to extinguish this fire". Please!

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    June 11, 2014 7:42 p.m.

    Blue Angels. Thunderbirds. Golden Knights. Navy Band. Army Band. Motorcycle Units. Equestrian units. Cops and Firefighters doing demos at schools, festivals, and fairs.

    The SLPD Motor Unit was not representing Gays, anymore than it represents Mormons in the Pioneer Day parade. It represents the Police Department to that community and to the larger community, just like all those other groups.

    Which is why this officer was removed. His prejudice and fear runs so deep that he made the irrational leap that representing the Police Department to the LGBT community might make people think he is gay.

    How far from there to believing that treating a Gay person fairly in a traffic stop might cause somebody to think he is gay?

    Or being compassionate to a Gay crime victim might mean somebody would think he is gay?

    Or providing full backup to another officer, who is gay, might look gay to somebody watching?

    I would not want this cop to stop me or show up if I called 911... and since he was not identified, he becomes all SLPD cops.

    Getting him off the force was reasonable and prudent.

  • MoNoMo Fair Oaks, CA
    June 11, 2014 4:11 p.m.

    This Officer applied for a coveted job in the SLCPD and later claims being uncomfortable?

    This is a "Special Operations Unit", meaning he had to agree to the terms of his employment in order to be accepted.

    The "Pride Parade" has been in SLC for a very long time and is the second largest event in UT.

    Part of his Oath of Office includes leaving personal opinions out of performance of duties.

    In addition, SLC has made the appropriate decision to include sexual orientation in antidiscrimination ordinances.

    As I recall, even The Mormon Church endorsed that ordinance, right?

  • Sank You, Doctor Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2014 3:54 p.m.

    Anti Bush-Obama

    Chihuahua, 00

    The LGBT has become the very thing they are supposed to be fighting against. This isn't about civil rights, this is about revenge.


    The LGBT people had nothing to do with this. The SLC police department decided to put this cop on leave and he then resigned.

    I think you owe the LGBT's an apology for demeaning them when they had nothing to do with this problem. Let's see if you will...

  • Anti Bush-Obama Chihuahua, 00
    June 11, 2014 2:51 p.m.

    I am LDS 2

    "I know of no religion that imposes penalties on its members for being civil to homosexuals, and certainly no religion that considers it a sin to be around LGBT people, much less to perform your professional duties of public safety."

    So if someone wanted you to be in a Bud Light commercial, would you do it?

  • Anti Bush-Obama Chihuahua, 00
    June 11, 2014 2:47 p.m.

    The LGBT has become the very thing they are supposed to be fighting against. This isn't about civil rights, this is about revenge.

    The LGBT reminds me of the little boy off the twilight zone who would send people into the cornfield for thinking bad thoughts about him.

    Free speech only applies to them and to those who agree with them. Say something bad and lose your job.

  • Athomas St George, UT
    June 11, 2014 1:43 p.m.

    Being a public servant means that you are expected to serve ALL the public, not just the ones whose lifestyle you agree with. Should other police officers be able to decide which members of the public they will serve and protect ? How about firefighters ? Should they decide whose home should be saved and whose they should let burn because they are of a different religion or sexual orientation ? It's not like the officer was asked to march in the parade, he was asked to do what he does all day, ride his motorcycle and keep people safe. If he can't put aside his personal prejudice and do that for everyone then he has no business being a police officer.

  • Dan Maloy Enid, OK
    June 11, 2014 12:26 p.m.

    Homosexuals: "Yes, everyone can keep their freedom of speech in our world. You see, we love ALL people and accept everyone no matter what."

    Well, maybe not.....

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    June 11, 2014 12:14 p.m.


    "But I object to any show of support or solidarity with LGBT causes on the part of a public service which operates with my taxes."

    And I would object to any show of support or solidarity with Mormon events such as the Days of 47 parade on the part of a service which operates with my taxes. See how that works?

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2014 11:24 a.m.


    USS Enterprise, UT

    To "pythagorion" but he wasn't providing a motorcycle escort. He was go to be doing motorcycle tricks and formation driving for a parade.

    Redshirt, do you know that when he signed up for the motorcycle division, he was aware that he would be "performing" in parades. There are only about 30 members of that division. If he only wanted to be in parades that he agreed with, he shouldn't have put his hat in ring for that responsibility, should he? He did not want to do one of the duties of a motorcycle cop in SLC.

    If Obama came to town, would he have the right not to escort him because he felt "uncomfortable" and it might look like he agrees with Obama and is supporting Obamas ideas? Same thing.

  • klimber510 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2014 11:04 a.m.

    In my view Laura Jones' "bias and bigotry" comment was biased and bigoted. I hope the Salt Lake Police Dept. will see that she receives some sensitivity training toward people with different points of view. Diversity and inclusivity standards should also respect people who differ due to ideals of conscience and religious beliefs.

    As a long-time parade watcher, I've seen where police have performed "policing functions." Rather like when the police provide a funeral escort. Other times I've seen them as active participants in and supporters of the parade. I'm fine with our police department providing safety and crowd control services for the Pride Parade, just as they did for the Salt Lake Marathon. But I object to any show of support or solidarity with LGBT causes on the part of a public service which operates with my taxes.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    June 11, 2014 10:21 a.m.

    To "pythagorion" but he wasn't providing a motorcycle escort. He was go to be doing motorcycle tricks and formation driving for a parade.

  • pythagorion SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    June 11, 2014 9:45 a.m.

    an officer who is unable to serve the community as a motor cycle escort cannot be trusted to serve the community as a security, police presence. your religious and personal beliefs have no place in serving the community you swore to serve. if you want to show your religious and personal beliefs, get a job in the private or religious sector.

  • Zona Zone Mesa, AZ
    June 11, 2014 8:28 a.m.

    I think this spokeswoman should have to resign. She charged in there pretty fast to label this guy as a bigot, exposing the department to an easy defamatory suit.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    June 11, 2014 8:08 a.m.

    To "LiberalJimmy" please explain how he would serving the public interest or protecting the public by driving his motorcycle in the parade and putting on a show. Remember, he was very willing to protect and serve, he didn't want to entertain the public.

    To "Stormwalker" explain how entertaining the crowd during a parade has anything to do with pride or refusing to help the poor.

    You throw around scripture to justify your position, yet this issue has nothing to do with that scripture.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    June 11, 2014 7:31 a.m.

    Contrast this officer's "discomfort" with that of the photo of police officers in Wisconsin delivering cake to newlywed LGBT couples at the courthouse.


    Their opinions are just that; their opinions. Just because they don't like it doesn't mean they get to dictate that others cannot do it.

    You say you don't "celibrate something you consider wrong"; but you're all too willing to vote to deny others the ability to do that, making them live by your standards, which is itself "wrong".

    @Liberal Ted;

    We want these officers to server EVERYBODY equally. Is that too much to ask?

    @Karen R.;

    Beautifully stated.


    Fiction 13: 13-14, similar to saying: "Harry Potter: pg 32 line 3."

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    June 10, 2014 9:41 p.m.

    “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. [50] And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.” -Ezekiel 16:49-50

    It seems a city is in danger when the citizens are wealthy and full of pride and refused to help the poor.

    Sort of an encouragement to "Love your neighbor as yourself."

  • 21MOM Keaau, HI
    June 10, 2014 6:11 p.m.

    Helaman 13: 13-14

  • Tiago Seattle, WA
    June 10, 2014 5:44 p.m.

    "The officer simply felt that the level of participation required in the event could be perceived as endorsing or advocating in favor of the LGBTQ community, a position which made him uncomfortable given his personal and religious beliefs."

    Riding the bus home from work with tears in my eyes reading this story. I'm sure the officer means well and didn't want this to become a media circus but the fact that he is so against anyone who dares publicly identify as LGBT that he is afraid to be seen doing his job among them is just mind blowing. I can't believe the people I go to church with think like this. Don't they always say "we're not against anyone, we're just for traditional marriage"? If you refuse to serve or work with LGBT people, you are against them. Why do people defend this? Do you have any idea what stigmatizing, repressing, and hiding does to people? Just stop it. Please try to understand what you are doing.

  • LiberalJimmy Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2014 4:21 p.m.

    @Chris B, @U-tad, @LovelyDesert, @Lost in D.C. and the regular posters which share the same archaic backwards beliefs...Truly I feel that I drop several I.Q. points after reading these comments. Most definitely aware that research and obtaining facts prior to posting is not your mantra. However, a simplistic search on SLCPD website reveals some startling facts. This happened to be a motorcade officer and he was fully aware of his duties spelled out in advance via an extremely thorough job description. Would a Catholic officer have the same right if he/she did want to participate in The Mormon Pioneer parade? Absolutely not! Why? Police officers are public servants and take an oath to "serve and protect" ALL! (Note the word "some" not used) In closing, if I happened to be a firemen and your home is burning down please do not identify yourself prior to the fire being extinguished because after all if we don't share the same political beliefs I don't have to do my job. Correct?

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    June 10, 2014 4:13 p.m.


    As a Soldier/Cop many times you don't have the luxury of picking assignments. It tends to lead to favortism, and if they asked for volunteers, it may pressure someone into accepting a position they truly do not want. It's nasty, nasty internal politics. When I was a young private, it was beat into me that you ALWAYS volunteer for EVERYTHING.

    What happens most often, is they have a duty roster, and they just assign the next guy on the list to the next duty. No favortism, no wiggle room, no pressure.

    Maybe the question you should be asking is, "Do we really want a cop that picks and chooses who is worth his protection?" What if he were asked to stop a bar fight "Whoa boss, I am a temple recommend holder, and I can't have people think I support the bar" What if he were assigned a protective detail to a high profile visitor who happened to be gay? "Whoa, I can't have people thinking we are a couple"

    No, just get in, do your job as a professional, and get out. Is there a higher ideal any professional could hope to achieve?

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    June 10, 2014 4:04 p.m.

    "The officer simply felt that the level of participation required in the event could be perceived as endorsing or advocating in favor of the LGBTQ community..."

    When did the parade become about him? When did his involvement become about anything except performing the assignment? When has his job ever been about anything except performing the assignment?

    Far too many times I have read on these pages that gay couples are “selfish” and thinking only of themselves. This is exactly the mistake this officer has made. He took himself so seriously that he turned the parade into a referendum on his religious convictions.

    I think this is also the mistake of many commenting here: You’re taking yourselves too seriously. Your god, your religion, and your consciences are not so fragile that they cannot withstand the same challenges that the rest of us face as we try to live our lives in concert with our personal principles. Your convictions are no more "deeply held" or special than anyone else's, and to demand that they be accommodated as such is, well, a bit self-centered.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    June 10, 2014 3:24 p.m.

    @patriot 11:13 a.m. June 10, 2014

    men kissing other men ...what's to be uncomfortable about?


    If it's an affectionate kiss -- the kind you see all the time between spouses -- then there is absolutely nothing to be uncomfortable about.

    If it's a "get a room" kiss -- the kind you often see between opposite-sex couples -- then (for both opposite sex and same sex couples) it can be uncomfortable.

    BUT the bottom line is very simple -- if seeing any type of kiss makes you uncomfortable, then just don't look.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    June 10, 2014 3:12 p.m.


    "There are parents all over the nation and world that have, are currently and will be teaching their children that two men romantically kissing is not natural"

    True enough. There will be parents all over the nation who will teach their children that the races shouldn't mix, that their religion is the only true religion and, that women are subservient to men. Parents get to do that. I am happy to announce, though, that all over the country there are many parents who will be teaching their kids that everyone is different but everyone that everyone potentially has something to offer the whole that is society. They will also be teaching their kids the golden rule.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2014 3:02 p.m.

    I don't understand the logic of the gay community. Why would you want this officer there to "protect you" if he has expressed interest and passion serving elsewhere in the city? Doesn't it make sense to seek volunteers first and then make assignments to fill needed slots? If you have 400 employees and only 1 said they would like to work elsewhere, then why not comply?

    The fact of the matter is Becker and Burbank look for religious people to make examples out of them. The Romans did this to Christians early on. Toss them into the court of public opinion and let them be torn to shreds for the cheering progressive crowd.

    What about the rights of religious folk? How can the city claim to be neutral and protect everyone's interest, when they openly express their disdain?

    The officer simply asked if he could have a different assignment. It was an over reactive department and leadership, that allowed their bias and bigotry to spew out. I had a Muslim professor, that stopped class during Ramada, so he could break his fast. We were accommodating to his religious belief.

    What a digressive city.

    June 10, 2014 2:46 p.m.



    There are parents all over the nation and world that have, are currently and will be teaching their children that two men romantically kissing is not natural, that is offensive to man and God and that it is not perfectly acceptable.
    So..for the future...what is the proposition? According to the unpopularity (ratings) of the last few seasons homosexual sitcoms, the LGBT community seem to have only won tolerance..which is not exactly the same as embracing a lifestyle as normal. When left to their own devices and in the privacy of their own homes, it seems that very many people prefer the traditional values we live by, while still wanting those who don't, to live with peace and dignity with full legal rights. However, we don't celebrate something we consider wrong.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    June 10, 2014 2:37 p.m.

    @lost in dc

    A police officer follows much of the same restrictions as a Soldier would. It isn't exactly an apples and oranges thing.

    A cop who is insubordinate can expect legal actions.

    When they join, they are asked if they have any religious conflicts before hand (someone who is opposed to the use of fire arms cannot, and should not be a cop). He was not drafted, but volunteered for this duty. His chance to voice any religious exceptions was before he sought their employ.

    He was not asked to participate in the parade, only to be a part of its security.

    A similar restriction would be if were asked to provide police services for a Jazz game on Sunday. Would we expect religious accommodations to be made (in the State of Utah, there are a LOT of LDS cops). Only if it would not impact the ability of the mission to be carried out.

    He lost a portion of his 1st amendment rights when he said there were no religious restrictions and he accepted his position.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    June 10, 2014 2:19 p.m.

    @patriot: "men kissing other men ...what's to be uncomfortable about?"

    Good question. What is there to be uncomfortable about with that? It's a sign of affection between two people. A romantic kiss between two people who love each other… That's not a problem. It is perfectly acceptable.

  • merich39 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2014 2:18 p.m.

    When I was 16, I had a job doing janitorial work at a local high school. I was asked to do a certain job task and I expressed my concerns about having to do that task. A very short time later, I was unemployed. There was no leniency for conscientious objecting. I learned the consequences of refusing a job assignment that was well within the normal scope of my job.

    Today, I'm in my 50's. If one of my subordinates refused a normal course of work job assignment, they too would find themselves quickly unemployed. I propose that if this officer does not want the responsibility of serving any and all citizens, he should resign his position and someone can be found to fill that vacancy.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    June 10, 2014 2:13 p.m.

    @lost in DC

    "Government makes religious accommodations ALL THE TIME!'

    And when they cannot without impacting the mission, they are not required to.

    "Taking a job as a peace officer and enlisting in the army are two very different things."

    They are both voluntarily agreeing to serve the public and accepting the restrictions to their private behavior that might entail.

    "regardless of any twisted logic you try to pull from the bible."

    I'm just following the lead of my "Christian" brethren who distort it all the time to support their agenda. Regardless, it seemed like pretty straightforward language to me. Isn't the bible supposed to be easily understood by all?

    "The 1st amendment is not terminated when someone takes a job as a police officer."

    Public servants when doing the public's business most definitely can expect restrictions on their 1st amendment rights.

  • baddog Cedar Rapids, IA
    June 10, 2014 1:50 p.m.

    noun, plural big•ot•ries.
    1. stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own.

    1. a particular tendency or inclination, especially one that prevents unprejudiced consideration of a question; prejudice

    How many other police men and women are without bias and bigotry on the Salt Lake department?

    It's is difficult to know exactly what was said by whom. but what has been revealed to the public doesn't seem to reach the level of bigotry or even bias.

    Perhaps you had to be there...

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    June 10, 2014 1:43 p.m.

    Government makes religious accommodations ALL THE TIME!

    Taking a job as a peace officer and enlisting in the army are two very different things. Nice straw argument, though, you liberals are good at that when your own arguments are too weak.

    the SLPD cannot ask him to violate his conscience regardless of any twisted logic you try to pull from the bible. The 1st amendment is not terminated when someone takes a job as a police officer.

  • dmcvey Los Angeles, CA
    June 10, 2014 1:32 p.m.

    @Tekakaromatagi, so because liberal blah, blah, blah you get to misrepresent the story? That's logical.

  • U-tar Woodland Hills, UT
    June 10, 2014 1:11 p.m.

    My two cents worth, wow! That's quite a stretch, never heard an interpretation like that one.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    June 10, 2014 12:53 p.m.

    Matthew 22:15-21

    15 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.

    16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.

    17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?

    18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?

    19 Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny.

    20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?

    21 They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.

    A police officer is a servant of the public receiving "Caesar's Penny." Jesus gave him an out; he just chose to ignore it.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    June 10, 2014 12:23 p.m.

    @lost in Dc

    Some of those first ammendments rights have to be checked at the door for those in uniform. As a Soldier, if I tell my boss to take a hike, I can get jail time. If you as a civilian tell him that same thing, there isnt a thing he can do.

    He volunteered to where the uniform, and in that process some of his "feelings" must be checked at the door.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    June 10, 2014 12:23 p.m.


    Then prevent the officers from participating in the days of 47 parade too, or are you just a hypocrite.

    LGBT people are tax payers too.

    June 10, 2014 12:07 p.m.

    He asked to be on the motor squad. A primary function of the motor squad is to appear in parades. He knew that when he volunteered.

    He was disciplined by the SLCPD, not the "gay community."

  • keepamericafree salt lake, UT
    June 10, 2014 11:41 a.m.

    This is in regards to the officer who was assigned to participate in the gay pride parade. Officers pay comes from tax payers and these officers represent the tax payers and have a position in the community. Participating in an agenda based parade shows endorsement! NO officers in uniform should be participating in a parade that represents a political agenda at all, let alone forced! This officer should be commended for standing up for what is right. Write to the mayor and our governor. This man should be reinstated and promoted and his superiors fired!

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    June 10, 2014 11:39 a.m.

    @dmcvey: "Why are there so many comments saying that this is about the LGBT community being bigoted?"

    Simple. There are a lot of gay people who come to this page and talk about being liberal this and liberal that. As soon as someone disagrees with their views says something all of a sudden they sound like some right wing Arizona sheriff talking about illegal immigrants and law and order and they've never heard of diversity or tolerance. If an Oregon florist won't sell flowers for a gay wedding I am hearing, "Businesses exist to make money, not to have morals." It sounds like someone from Enron or a Las Vegas casino magnate talking to the Tea Party.

    It is hard to tell who is liberal and who is just a closet conservative.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    June 10, 2014 11:37 a.m.

    There is still a lot of misinformation going on about this. According to the officer's lawyer, the officer was asked to participate in a motorcycle group that performs in the parade. The officer was being told to participate in the parade, not to protect the people.

    Imagine your boss told you that you had to participate in something outside your job function, and was something you do not agree with. Would you look to find somebody to replace you or would you give up?

  • Jimmytheliberal Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2014 11:30 a.m.

    @LovelyDesert...I'll make certain to make this as elementary as possible. Obviously you are against equality for all but you attended this parade anyway? Makes perfect sense based on your highly intellectual comments regarding this issue. In closing, I'm offended by your posts so therefore I feel you should stop commenting...Get my point?

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    June 10, 2014 11:22 a.m.

    "We don't tolerate bias and bigotry in the department, and assignments are assignments," Jones said Friday.

    Police officers job is to provide security. Not to endorse one view point or another. The article said that he was doing because of his religious views. Why then does Jones say that it was because of bigotry? if the department doesn't tolerate bias and bigotry then why is the department spokesperson making statements like this. Should Jones be terminated for making such judgmental, bigoted statements. Fair is fair.

    In 1980 neo-Nazis wanted to have a march in Skokie, Il, The city would not give them a permit. The ACLU sued and won. Skokie had to give them a permit. There were officers who had to provide security to the march. That is proper and decent. But they did not have to show support to the march.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    June 10, 2014 11:13 a.m.

    men kissing other men ...what's to be uncomfortable about?

  • Gram Cracker Price, UT
    June 10, 2014 11:07 a.m.

    That is SO wrong. Shame on the Salt Lake Police Department. Shame, shame on them.

  • suzyk#1 Mount Pleasant, UT
    June 10, 2014 10:55 a.m.

    I support fully this officer's feelings and beliefs. Good for him for standing for what he believes. The force lost an exceptional police officer and someday they will realize this. I wouldn't want to ride near or in front of a group of people of whom I do not support or believe are right in their endeavors. I'm proud of this officer.

  • illuminated St George, UT
    June 10, 2014 10:37 a.m.


    "Public service is PUBLIC SERVICE."

    False. Trying to equate an LGBT parade to a house burning down is a terrible comparison. Please stop with the phony straw-man hyperbole.

    The man DID not refuse to protect the LGBT parade, he merely requested a different assignment because he felt uncomfortable riding with a group that he disagreed with. The only bigotry and hate here came from the department in disrespecting its employees beliefs. Instead of denying his request for a different assignment, amicably, they instead chose hate and bigotry.

    More and more people are coming to the conclusion that the real bigotry and hate is coming from the LGBT community because of actions like this and many others. Here's my advice: If you want people to come out and accept your cause, do it with love and respect. Ask for tolerance by showing tolerance. This type of hate will only cause more and more people to turn your backs on your cause.

    Learn to love and respect people that peacefully disagree with your agenda.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 10, 2014 10:35 a.m.

    Re: "The officer simply felt that the level of participation required in the event could be perceived as endorsing or advocating in favor of the LGBTQ community"...

    I have a problem with this logic. If the police department riding in the gay pride parade indicates the riders are "endorsing" or "advocating" in favor of the LGBTQ community... does that mean the PD riding in the days of 47 parade indicates endorsing or advocating the pioneer community?

    Obviously it doesn't. This was bad logic on his part. He should have just done his job.


    He did offer to work security though (which is the PDs REAL job). They should have let him do security instead of actually appearing in the parade or be fired.

    Both sides could have handled this better IMO.

  • rad3 SLC, UT
    June 10, 2014 10:18 a.m.

    I knew it would be a mistake to read the comments to this article. So much hate. Many of your comments are very hurtful.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    June 10, 2014 10:17 a.m.

    Remember this, many of you, if your house goes up in flames. Perhaps some of the firemen won't like putting out fires in houses that are yellow, or putting out fires in Christian homes, etc.

    Public service is PUBLIC SERVICE. Most of you I'm guessing have never held a position of public trust. Nowhere does your oath give you the option to decide which aspect of the PUBLIC you will serve.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    June 10, 2014 10:06 a.m.

    All this time we have been hearing that the officer refused to serve in the gay activity. He claims he merely ASKED for a role in this activity that was less public. If the officer is correct, those who lied about him deserve to lose their job in the force.

  • GeorgiaUte Milledgeville, GA
    June 10, 2014 9:58 a.m.

    1) He was NOT unwilling or refusing to serve select members of the community (LGBT)
    2) He "asked" for a different assignment, but was willing to do it anyway if his request was refused.
    3) He was still willing to serve and protect ALL people by asking to be placed on duty in a serving and protecting capacity - NOT a ceremonial one.
    4) Without responding to his request, he was placed on leave and the media was notified.
    5) His attorney responded to the media, while the department declined, citing bigotry and making sure to declare that they have gay officers on the staff.

    There was no bigotry involved here. No insubordination or refusal to do a job. The department will be sued and will lose or settle out of court. It could have been avoided if they had just declined the officer's request, forcing him to then make the choice.

  • illuminated St George, UT
    June 10, 2014 9:49 a.m.

    Superman1 has it right:

    "SLCPD did not pull regular officers off of their assigned beat to work security for this parade. They pulled in extra officers - those who wanted the extra pay. It should have been the same for the motors. If he was required by SLCPD to attend this parade, as a motor, then I think it's SLCPD that messed up."

    I've known a few police officers and events like this (parades) usually fall on the volunteer side of their duties, for those who want a little "overtime" so to speak. I've never known someone to get put on leave for being uncomfortable with an assignment like this.

    Would it not be acceptable for a police chief to grant the wishes of a black officer to decline leading a KKK or white supremacist parade? Or a gay officer to attend an anti-gay rally? I'm sure there would be plenty of other officers who could work in their place. If "serve and protect" is the motto of our police, wouldn't people be better served and protected if the officer assigned felt comfortable doing it?

    "We don't tolerate intolerance"

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    June 10, 2014 9:42 a.m.

    "We enforce bias and bigotry in the department, regardless of 1st amendment protections concerning religious liberty” is what Jones really said Friday.

    He has. I guess you did not read the article

    If they were being assaulted, or had their home burglarized, I’m confident he would have served them as his job required. He should not be required to help them celebrate their sexuality.

    no, you missed it. He asked for reassignment.

    So medical people who oppose abortion should be forced to perform them?

    Patrick Henry, Darrell
    Read the 1st amendment, then try again. If government is forcing them to leave their beliefs at the door, the government is violating the 1st amendment. Government makes religious accommodations ALL THE TIME!

    Thanks for supporting my assertion that the gay movement wants to do away with the first amendment religious protections.

    I M LD_ 2
    Jesus did not condone the sins, either, as this afficer felt he was being asked to do.

    Old man,
    For once I agree with you.

    Ever hear of a conscientious objector?

  • FanOfTheSith Vernal, UT
    June 10, 2014 9:41 a.m.

    Interesting how he was automatically looked upon as being a "bigot" when all he was saying was he was "uncomfortable" "for the assignment of riding in-front of the parade due to his religious beliefs." I guess he was already looked upon as "guilty with no room of proven innocent." I firmly believed that the PR communication from SLCPD in-front of the media was done very poorly by the Spokesperson who of course was saying what the SLCPD's policy was saying but came out as if was saying like this Police Officer was a "bigot."

    June 10, 2014 9:37 a.m.

    The Courts recently ruled in favor of a dept that disciplined an officer for refusing to participate in a community building event at a mosque.

    June 10, 2014 9:33 a.m.

    Being a motor cop is an assignment one volunteers for. One of the primary functions is to perform in parades. He acknowledged this when he accepted the offer to become a member. He took a spot from others who wanted this prime assignment. And now he's upset because they asked him to participate in a parade that made him uncomfortable? The unit accepted the invitation; members of the unit are obligated, by contract, to participate.

  • MoNoMo Fair Oaks, CA
    June 10, 2014 9:33 a.m.

    Keep in mind that this officer had to apply to part of the "Motor Squad." According to the Police Department website:

    "The squad works many special events during the year, including parades, funerals, sporting events, runs, and more. The squad is mostly known for its precision riding during the 24th of July parade, which is attended by thousands of community members."

    He knew he would be participating in "parades" when he applied for the job. The Pride Parade has been in SLC for how long. Seems reasonable that this duty was part of the job when he applied for the position.

    Also as part of his Oath for Office: "I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, political beliefs, aspirations, animosities or friendships to influence my decision. With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear of favor, malice of ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities."

    Just how were his rights violated?

  • Debbie G Cedar City, UT
    June 10, 2014 9:31 a.m.

    I see no problem in standing up for your religious beliefs. The officer did not want it to look as if he was in support of Gay Rights. He asked for a different assignment for the parade. Understandable. There is no bigotry here. If called upon, he would do his job to protect all. But to suspend him for not riding his motorcycle in support of Gay Pride,.... I think the Salt Lake Police Department should be ashamed of themselves for letting down a fellow officer. This man has courage to stand for his religious beliefs. So... Thank you officer, and sorry we some people with so little respect for that kind of courage. Your not just going with the flow. Thanks again.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    June 10, 2014 9:22 a.m.

    @Wilf 55 He comments "Can you imagine a police officer, assigned to stand guard in front of a synagogue or a mosque, to refuse because he feels "uncomfortable" about Jews or Muslims? This is exactly the same in this case."

    No Wilf it is requiring the police officer to enter the synagogue or mosque and worship with the people in the synagogue or mosque. Big difference.

  • iplaydat South Jordan, UT
    June 10, 2014 9:15 a.m.

    I compose music and enjoy many styles from a broad range. But if I were asked to compose music for an adult film, will I be forced to accept the project, thus attaching my name and tacit endordsement of the product? What if it were a gay adult film, will I face fines or jail time for refusing the work based on moral/religious grounds?

    I went to a deli in NY and ordered a burger. I asked for cheese, but they declined because they were a kosher deli. I didn't complain or launch a lawsuit!

    Where are my rights to LIVE my religion? And who allowed is decide for me what living my religion means? And who can decide that my personal religious beliefs which are not uncommon, if acted upon, are against the law? What happened to live and let live, or this coexist bumper sticker I see sometimes?

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    June 10, 2014 9:14 a.m.

    "make sure the streets were clear of traffic and pedestrians" Was not the assignment. Performing close drills was the request, performing on the motorcycle team is a volunteer action not a police assignment. Driving up and down the parade route for security, traffic and pedestrians was not the assignment requested.

    Chris Burbank chooses which laws he will enforce, as he stated in public interviews. He set the stage for biased actions on his force. I hope he is named in the defamation law suit, along with Sim Gill, and Jones. This was an internal matter and should have been handled internally. The fact it was made in the public arena with political figures defaming the officer, have guaranteed this officer will have a great retirement paid for by Salt Lake City taxpayers. I expect the law suit will be settled in the millions. But publicity of the settlement will get buried.

  • LeDoc SLC, UT
    June 10, 2014 8:59 a.m.

    Extremism is the thing to fear. I think we all want equality deep down. The sad thing is when ours has to come at the expense of someone else's. It's interesting how many changing demographics I've seen already in my life. For example the ethnic/cultural makeup of So. Calif. or the religious makeup of Europe. We read history books and wonder how the horrors of the 1940's could have taken place while we remain mute as an oppressive Syrian regime (to name just one)has killed well over 200,000 in just the past couple of years. We need to learn to get along.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 10, 2014 8:58 a.m.

    So what's the difference between a policeman refusing a mission because of a personal religious view and a Marine who may have let his personal religion get in the way of his military obligation? Or a businessman who would allow his personal religion to unlawfully discriminate his employees or customers.

    American freedom says that we should not force a person to do something that he doesn't want to do. However when a person accepts the obligations of a voluntary group, failure to accept the missions of the group can get you fired, disallowed, discharged or maybe even killed as a consequence.

    The successful existence of any group or society requires that it be able to enforce its rules upon its members. The only legit way to not follow the rules is to not join the group.

  • Clifton Palmer McLendon Gilmer, TX
    June 10, 2014 8:58 a.m.

    Violation of the law of chastity is more serious than dishonesty.

    If thieves and liars hijacked the word "daring" (the way homosexuals hijacked the word "gay") and demanded that theirs be recognized as an "alternative lifestyle" because they were "born that way" and demanded that larceny and perjury be decriminalized and jeered at people who disagreed with them as "bigots" and held "daring pride" parades, would people in general tolerate that?

  • Wilf 55 SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    June 10, 2014 8:55 a.m.

    Can you imagine a police officer, assigned to stand guard in front of a synagogue or a mosque, to refuse because he feels "uncomfortable" about Jews or Muslims? This is exactly the same in this case. It's a question of a fundamental attitude of respect and tolerance for any class of people.

  • dmcvey Los Angeles, CA
    June 10, 2014 8:50 a.m.

    Why are there so many comments saying that this is about the LGBT community being bigoted? I don't see anywhere in this story that anyone from the LGBT community said anything. I know that many people who read the Deseret News like to immediately jump to the "see, it's the gays who are really bigoted because they call us bigots because we just have a disagreement when we try to deny them having equal rights", but in this case it seems like they didn't even read the story.

  • Superman1 Kaysville, UT
    June 10, 2014 8:48 a.m.

    Speaking as an ex-motorcycle officer for a local Salt Lake valley police department, this should have been a volunteer motor assignment, not fully assigned. Every motor event that we had, except for the specified city parades (2 per year), was volunteer and paid overtime or a shift differential, including float escorts, traffic support for when the President came, funeral escorts, annual MDA Ride, and other benefit events. Salt Lake City PD has a motor squad of over 30 motors. I highly doubt all 30 were assigned to this private parade. I would imagine that every other officer that worked "security" for this parade did so on a volunteer basis, separate from their assigned shift. SLCPD did not pull regular officers off of their assigned beat to work security for this parade. They pulled in extra officers - those who wanted the extra pay. It should have been the same for the motors. If he was required by SLCPD to attend this parade, as a motor, then I think it's SLCPD that messed up.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    June 10, 2014 8:47 a.m.

    @ Gatsby

    "...he did not want to seem to condone their views by leading their parade."

    I agree that people shouldn't automatically be considered bigoted for their LGBT-related positions. But I wonder if you understand how the claim of "religious conscience" is undermined with statements like yours. They reflect a concern with how other human beings see you rather than how your god does.

    Presumably the officer's/cake baker's/photographer's god is powerful enough to know what's in their hearts regardless of the uncomfortable positions life inevitably presents? And if their god doesn't understand this, then they would have known they couldn't obey the laws or live up to the oaths before they said they could, yes?

    So this doesn't come across as fealty to one's god, but rather as fealty to one's self. This comes across as "it is more important that I appear righteous than that I live up to my word" and as "I want the benefits without the responsibilities."

    This still doesn't make one a bigot, but it doesn't speak to the claim of "religious conscience" either. I think it speaks to something else.

  • dmcvey Los Angeles, CA
    June 10, 2014 8:37 a.m.

    I'm sure that anything I post here won't make it through the Deseret News censor because anyone saying that maybe, just maybe, religious beliefs can be the basis of bigotry and that this officer overreacted. It sounds like he wasn't pushed, he jumped.

  • Kaladin Northern, CO
    June 10, 2014 8:26 a.m.

    The more things like this happen the more we are going to LBGTXQRED movement. These bullying tactics are applauded and anyone with a different opinion is shouted down, fired, harassed, censored, etc. This makes us want to stand against you more. We would be more accepting if you would tone it down

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2014 8:23 a.m.

    All posters who are blaming the LGBT public for this policeman's problems (Chris B, One old man, etc, please read the story again. The LGBT citizens did not fire this policeman, SLC did. A policeman is given an assignment. He either follows orders or he resigns. The police cannot have a force where every officer is questioning every decision, just like the military. That is chaos!

    Most police officers and those in the military are not comfortable shooting people. But it is what they signed up for - protecting and serving ALL citizens. As soon as you have one or two that question their assignments and get away with it, you will have the breakdown of order and anarchy in the ranks. The military and the police are NOT democracies. Those who join their ranks actually give up the right of speech in many instances.

  • JBQ Saint Louis, MO
    June 10, 2014 8:20 a.m.

    Sadly, I sympathize with the officer in question. He could have been accommodated easily by switching assignments in the same parade. Someone evidently knew that leading the parade would agitate him. Unfortunately, the department had no choice. I would comment to Ms. Jones that we all make decisions every day which discriminate. This extends from the simple choice of a green shirt or blouse over a blue one to putting murderers in prison. Our society has to have standards. As a nation, we are losing our focus. It is a matter of setting up standards for society or radical groups will impose it for us.

    June 10, 2014 8:18 a.m.

    It is clear to me that only people of one opinion regarding gay issues will be afforded the protection of having a first amendment. Those who find it incompatible with their religious beliefs are rapidly finding themselves the target of a new bigotry, an American landscape in which they are not welcome.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    June 10, 2014 8:17 a.m.

    This is the type of equality that we are moving towards. The officer could have expressed discomfort about just about any other assignment and chances are some accommodations might have been made. But if a person doesn't personally feel comfortable about the GLBT agenda, they are put on leave, or forced to resign as in the case of the former CEO of Mozilla Firefox. Freedom of Speech is alive and well in our society, provided that it is politically correct speech.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    June 10, 2014 8:04 a.m.

    I understand that the officer was asked not just to lead but to swerve around to "Jazz" up things. As I understand things, he felt that this give his tacit endorsement of the events, which he didn't feel comfortable. If he was asked just to be security detail, I don't think he has much of a case, but if he was asked to do things that might make view as endorsing the events, I think there is another issue there and I think it would be within his rights to not do this particular assignment.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    June 10, 2014 7:58 a.m.

    As a civil servant, especially in the capacity of military and law enforcement; you voluntarily give up certain rights when you put on that uniform.

    An officer in the Army cannot speak ill of the President in an official capacity. He is free to hold whatever view he pleases, but must voice that view only in certain times and places. As a Soldier, I could not pick what assignments I had, nor refuse to do anything meted out to me. If I felt it compromised who I was as a person, I was free to talk with my superiors. If they felt the concern warranted, they would alter the assignment, or remove me from the detail. If they chose not to, I felt my conscious was clear. If the order was illegal, there were channels with whom I could raise my concern.

    However, I fail to see the religious distinction here. The officer was not asked to participate in the parade, but only to secure it. I fail to see in any teachings of any church were we must treat LGBT as anything less than American Citizens and Children of God.

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    June 10, 2014 7:49 a.m.

    I refused to participate in the Day's of 47 parade for fear that other would perceive me to be pro-Mormon. I was fired by my company for doing so. This story sounds eerily familiar.

  • Martin Handcart Descendant Azusa, CA
    June 10, 2014 7:42 a.m.

    It is very sad that this story would even make the news, let alone generate so much controversy. We all have things that make us uncomfortable - speaking in public, heights, standing on ledges, swimming, flying, etc., etc., etc. It is a very, very poor leader who will force someone to do something that makes them uncomfortable when there are plenty of others who are ready, willing, and able to fulfill the assignment. Jones is the one who is in need of counseling and much more leadership training. Volunteers should have been asked for if anyone felt uncomfortable. I would have been happy to have accepted that assignment or for one protecting the President - any President. It would have been an honor for me.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    June 10, 2014 7:18 a.m.

    It's beyond disgusting that that homosexual community, while demanding respect for themselves, completely fail to respect the beliefs and feelings of others.

    It is this kind of bullying that makes others fear the day when a minister will be forced to perform homosexual "marriages" no matter what his or her conscience says about the matter.

    What a fine message: "You WILL respect us -- OR ELSE!"

    I, for one, find it much easier to respect people who are not trying to force me to respect them. How many people are simply remaining silent now and are allowing themselves to be bullied into silence even though they may disagree with the homosexual agenda of total acceptance of their lifestyle?

    I'm willing to bet that this comment will be denied by DN's censors. Further proof of the bullying.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    June 10, 2014 7:07 a.m.

    I know of no religion that imposes penalties on its members for being civil to homosexuals, and certainly no religion that considers it a sin to be around LGBT people, much less to perform your professional duties of public safety.

    Jesus ate, drank, and hung out with all kinds of "sinners", and was heavily criticized for it.

    Did He "feel uncomfortable"? If so, there is no record of it. He seems to have felt much more uncomfortable among the Pharisees, Sadduccees, and scribes who were so hyper-zealous that they forgot to be humane.

    Did this (former) officer think himself above his Master?

  • BU52 Provo, ut
    June 10, 2014 6:57 a.m.

    "We don't tolerate bias and bigotry in the department, and assignments are assignments," Jones said Friday.
    Apparently toleration is a one way street in our PC world. I thought that was the whole point of the parade?

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    June 10, 2014 6:41 a.m.

    Burbank himself has set an expectation by marching in the parade. Such behavior has no relation to protecting the citizens. It is a PR event and as such should not be required of officers.
    Crowd control IS a police duty; traffic control is a police duty; monitoring the crowd for illegal activity is a police duty; synchronized motorcycle riding is not.
    An officer cannot be compelled to "perform" in a parade.
    This publicity stunt to show that the SLCPD is non-discriminatory will cost the taxpayers dearly.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    June 10, 2014 6:41 a.m.

    Complete lack of professionalism. Poor baby. He didn't feel "comfortable."

    So? Because he didn't feel comfortable, he wants someone else on the force to do that assignment instead of him? How's that fair to his colleagues? Where's so Christian about that? Asking someone else to do what you wouldn't do is hardly being brave, fair, or neighborly. If it's good enough for your fellow officer to do, then it's good enough for you to do. Or would you rather that someone else be "uncomfortable" instead of you?

    And what are his superior officers supposed to do? Maybe they don't like the parade, either, and didn't like having to choose officers to be assigned to it. But, they did their job, and he should have done his instead of whining and kvetching. NYPD officers call it "The Job," and it's a higher calling than any individual officer. Very few of the thousands of officers who stand in the sun for hours to guard NYC's huge Pride parade from being shot up or bombed by RWNJs are gay themselves, but their commitment to public safety and The Job comes first.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    June 10, 2014 6:38 a.m.

    I just lost all respect I had for the SLPD and Chief Burbank.

  • Unclefred Ticonderoga, NY
    June 10, 2014 5:54 a.m.

    Maybe I missed something? Nowhere in the story printed here did it say the offices refused the assignment. It said he ASKED for a different assignment in the parade that day. It did not say that he refused anything.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    June 10, 2014 5:34 a.m.

    This guy was "uncomfortable" riding ahead of (not participating in) a parade to make sure the streets were clear of traffic and pedestrians. That is NOT what Salt Lake City needs its police police force. His job was to protect and defend everyone, not just those with whom he has some sort of connection.

  • Wilf 55 SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    June 10, 2014 12:36 a.m.

    Never, at any time, should someone evoke "religious conviction" to express dislike of other people because of their race, nationality, or gender orientation. It is unacceptable discrimination.

    It's even worse when this dislike is expressed by someone who at all times should be willing to serve and protect any person. It doesn't matter what the detail of this police officer's assignment was. He expressed his dislike of a certain class of people and proved himself unfit for his duty.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 9, 2014 11:36 p.m.

    It is denial and bigotry towards 'traditional christian values' And it's about time this started to happen. The liberal left and gay movement, if there is such a thing, need to be a part of the elimination of the special position religion has proclaimed itself to have in our society. It just religion. It's not fact or reality.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    June 9, 2014 11:22 p.m.

    Clearly the SLCPD has shown bias and bigotry in not allowing this officer to follow his religious conscience. I hope this turns into a law suit that religious conscience prevails. I don't think anyone should be forced to participate in this thing in a way that tends to imply endorsement. I'm disgusted with the Salt Laker Police Department.

  • USNGary San Diego, CA
    June 9, 2014 11:10 p.m.

    The gay and lesbian community are overreacting to this. It is the wo is me attitude, it goes against what they believe so it must be wrong. I don't like that attitude and never will. That is why they will never have my support. When they start accepting my beliefs then they may have support but until then I could care less.

  • SigmaBlue Centerville, UT
    June 9, 2014 11:01 p.m.

    Why are people so quick to judge and then condemn when they haven't heard this officer's side of the story? Everyone I know, including myself, flunked mind-reading, but it seems the Gay community wants to rush to judgment at the slightest hint that someone is "uncomfortable" riding in a LGBT parade. I always thought that knowing and understanding the truth was the most important aspect of any situation. If this officer's moral conscience precludes him from riding at the head of the parade, but would rather work a security detail at the same event, so what. This abysmal lack of tolerance on the Gay community's side will only further alienate people from their cause. Judge not, lest ye be judged (Matthew 7:1-3).

  • Yerffoegn Maricopa, Az
    June 9, 2014 10:50 p.m.

    According to officer, maybe he didn't refuse, just asked to be reassigned. A possible "knee jerk" action on the part of his supervisor? Someone here said " as public servents we have no choice to perform our duties regardless of our personal feelings". That may be true, however, I work for the Arizona department of corrections, and have a Lt. who should have never been put in charge of people. Maybe a lawsuit should be in order.

  • Big Bubba Herriman, UT
    June 9, 2014 10:41 p.m.

    Lara Jones calls it bias and bigotry for the officer refusing to "honor" the gay pride parade, I call it denial and bigotry towards traditional christian values. Shame on the SLPD! The liberal left and gay movement are putting our religious liberties at risk.

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    June 9, 2014 10:39 p.m.

    if I was forcede to dress like a cop from the village people and ride in a gay parade as the first float, I would quit too.....

    Next year Bradshaw can be the cop, Becker the cowboy, and Rocky the Constuction dude, and Obama the leatheer biker..... no one will think them gay?

    So, just to make sure I've got this correctly:

    A) He's insubordinate.
    B) He quit without proper notice
    C) As a policeman, he doesn't see fit to work with all law-abiding members of the community.

    He could be POTUS!!

  • Ted H. Midvale, UT
    June 9, 2014 10:33 p.m.

    I would gladly donate to a fund to help the officer get on his feet until he gets a new job!

  • JimInSLC Salt Lake City, UT
    June 9, 2014 10:29 p.m.

    The duty of a police officer is to serve and protect, not perform and entertain. It sounds as if this matter could have been handled quietly within the department by allowing the officer to serve in another capacity as he requested. For some reason the SLCPD has decided to make a public display of the matter. I wonder how many bad mouthing this officer would refuse his assistance when in need of help. "Please send another officer, this is the guy that did not want to ride in the Gay Pride Parade."

  • 1Reader Sunnyvale, CA
    June 9, 2014 9:58 p.m.

    Yeah, right: feeling uncomfortable in a gay parade is 'bias and bigotry'. The statement "We don't tolerate bias and bigotry in the department..." is clear in conveying that your values don't matter when it's not our values; it's intolerance of your values and opinions--intolerance of you to support what is certainly to most powerful political social faction in American history.

    I would have taken the assignment, but there should be some sensitivity to others' concerns.

  • Clarissa Layton, UT
    June 9, 2014 9:48 p.m.

    They should have accommodated him. No one would have had to know about it and no one would be losing their job because they felt uncomfortable doing something against their conscience. Hopefully, he'll get a job that is most sensitive to his religious views. It takes courage to stand up for your beliefs, even if it means losing your job.

  • slcdenizen Murray, UT
    June 9, 2014 9:33 p.m.

    Oh no! We can't have our brave police officers feel uncomfortable, they would feel like the rest of us when we see them pull up behind us.

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    June 9, 2014 9:28 p.m.

    I hope this officer is given a full opportunity to explain his side. I would be uncomfortable too.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    June 9, 2014 9:10 p.m.

    "We have learned that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men [and women] that as soon as they get a little authority as they may suppose, that they immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion." Looks like the Salt Lake police department is using a little unrighteous dominion. This is inflexibility taken to a ridiculous extreme. Or perhaps someone that outranks the officer is looking for an excuse to get rid of him. This can't be much of a morale booster for the department.

  • Patrick Henry West Jordan, UT
    June 9, 2014 9:09 p.m.

    Government employees do not have a right to refuse assignments because of personal belief or opinions.Government employees leave their personal beliefs and opinions at the door of their employment. If he tries to sue his government employer he will handily lose in court, as he rightfully should.

  • LovelyDeseret Gilbert, AZ
    June 9, 2014 9:06 p.m.

    No one should be forced to ride in the parade. I was disgusted by what I saw there.

  • David Mohr Victoria/BC/Canada, 00
    June 9, 2014 9:02 p.m.

    I am disappointed in the officer. Riding ahead of the parade is a part of the security detail. I have never considered the police at the head or tail of a parade as endorsing the parade or any part of the parade. To me they have always been advance or tail-end security.....making sure the way is clear and bystanders, watchers or others are not impeding the parade. If he had been asked to be a part of the parade I could understand his position and would agree with his feelings. I have been in a number of parades and have served with the police as an auxiliary member so I am not just talking out of my hat here. As a citizen I have often wondered why we don't have heterosexual parades expressing pride in ourselves but realize that we don't need to - oh wait....maybe the same should be said of Gay Pride.

  • Social Mod Fiscal Con West Jordan, UT
    June 9, 2014 9:00 p.m.

    "We don't tolerate bias and bigotry in the department, and assignments are assignments"

    When are we going to grow up and realize that disagreeing is not bigotry. That word is used for one reason and one reason alone, to end the conversation, to shut the other party up, to discredit anything they might say after.

    It is the ultimate childishness to throw out "bigot" when the other person simply disagrees. Get over yourselves people.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    June 9, 2014 8:58 p.m.

    Well, I was uncomfortable going to Iraq in the middle of a war, but sometimes we do what we agreed to do. It is part of being a public servant.

  • boneheaded, but not a smidgen SLC, UT
    June 9, 2014 8:48 p.m.

    let's force people to be uncomfortable. maybe the "pride" people should be asked to ride at the front of a heterosexual parade or be placed on leave. PC is totally out of control. SL police should be ashamed to cave into a non event. I am sure no other officers could have handled this assignment.

  • U-tar Woodland Hills, UT
    June 9, 2014 8:43 p.m.

    Chris Burbank and Mayor Becker have been watching too many old videos of the village people, and Rick James, SLC is getting supper freaky.

  • ceylonmormon CALDWELL, ID
    June 9, 2014 8:40 p.m.

    Hats off to that policeman for standing up what he believes in.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    June 9, 2014 8:13 p.m.

    Seems like very easily they could have made reasonable adjustments to let him work security at the parade.

    Companies and governments are forced to allow head scarfs worn by Muslims to those who wish to wear them, even if rules prohibit hats and other head accessories otherwise, as an example.

    The only bigots at the parade were those who wouldn't make reasonable adjustments to let this great officer have a different role.

    I applaud him

  • No One Of Consequence West Jordan, UT
    June 9, 2014 8:10 p.m.

    ***The officer simply felt that the level of participation required in the event could be perceived as endorsing or advocating in favor of the LGBTQ community, a position which made him uncomfortable given his personal and religious beliefs," the statement read.

    Salt Lake police spokeswoman Lara Jones declined to comment on the statement Monday...."We don't tolerate bias and bigotry in the department, and assignments are assignments," Jones said Friday.***

    Except, apparently, for bigotry against those who are driven by their religious beliefs.

  • HaHaHaHa Othello, WA
    June 9, 2014 8:09 p.m.

    "We don't tolerate bias and bigotry in the department, and assignments are assignments," Jones said Friday

    Interesting choice of words, but typical and predictable in this day and age of political correctness, and the selective acceptance of perverse ideas and activity. I bet I could put forth a scenario where the department would have to literally eat those words!

  • CowboyPhD Sandpoint, ID
    June 9, 2014 8:07 p.m.

    Good! The police and fire departments as well as other public agencies serve the PUBLIC. We have gay tax paying citizens in our communities and this kind of bigotry can not be tolerated.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    June 9, 2014 8:05 p.m.

    Just as I expected, the Blt community and its supporters were being dishonest by claiming he refused to work at the parade.

    It was just the specific job that he felt was a position supporting the Blt cause and he asked for a different role supporting the parade.

    Just par for the course for the blt community of not portraying the truth.

    Good job sir!

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    June 9, 2014 7:57 p.m.

    Perhaps he should leave the SLC public police force and find work with a private security firm where he would feel more comfortable.

  • gatsby Murray, utah
    June 9, 2014 7:56 p.m.

    It is so disturbing to me that people who have no religious beliefs, feel that they can dismiss the feelings of those who do, as "bigotry" and "bias." The first amendment protects expression of religion. Certainly, a Police officer, must protect everyone equally, but as he was willing to take a different assignment, security for instance, he was willing to put his life on the line for people in the parade, who have differing views than his own. Ironically, he is protecting their freedom of speech, but is not allowed his own. So he would protect them with his life, as his job requires, but he did not want to seem to condone their views by leading their parade. It sounds to me like the department could have accomodated his personal religious beliefs. I admire him for following his conscience. If we can't follow our conscience, when it doesn't violate someone else's rights, what kind of "freedom' do we have?

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    June 9, 2014 7:54 p.m.

    Seriously? Riding a motorcycle as part of a Police Department official representation in a community event might somehow taint him and mark him as gay or a gay supporter or some-such?

    Not marching as a member of a gay group. Being part of an official escort for his bosses.

    Would he similarly refuse to escort the Presidential motorcade if the Mr. Obama journeyed to Salt Lake, for fear someone might think he voted for Obama or had turned Democrat?

    Would he refuse to escort the Police Float in a Saint Patrick's Day Parade for fear someone might think he would be drinking green beer afterward?

    As a gay man, I would be very afraid of this man stopping me for a real - or made up - traffic violation. If I was a crime victim I would be afraid of this man showing up if I called the police. My experience says his "problem" with the GLBT community is the kind of attitude that carries over into every interaction with gay men and lesbians.

    If he can't deal with the GLBT community, he might consider another line of work.